Behaving Ethically Online: Ethics and Values
Level: Grades 7 to 8
Duration: 1-1 ½ hours
Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.
In this lesson, students consider how we come to hold values and how they affect our behaviour, especially online. They begin by comparing their assumptions about how common positive and negative online behaviours are with accurate statistics, and then consider how believing that something is more or less common than it really is can affect whether or not we think it’s acceptable. The teacher then uses a fable to introduce students to the ways that values can be communicated both overtly and implicitly and students discuss the ways in which their values have been communicated to them. They then turn specifically to the online context and consider what values they have learned about online behaviour and how they learned them. Finally, students consider scenarios that examine ethical questions online and role-play ways of resolving them.
The lesson is part of the Stay on the Path: Teaching Kids to be Safe and Ethical Online lesson series.
- identify what values are, where they originate and how they are communicated
- explore moral dilemmas relating to online communication
- learn skills for managing emotions during online interactions
- practice preventing and managing conflict during online interactions
- create a media product
Home and School Connection
- Promoting Ethical Online Behaviours with Your Kids
- Building Empathy in Children and Teens
- Family Online Rules
- Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying
This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.